Do you love beer? Do you love brewing your own beer? Do you like to enter your home brews into competitions? If you answered yes to any of these questions then have we found the place for you! Pilothouse so much to offer all beer lovers, and here’s why….
Kevin and I have grown our love for beer since moving back to Denver, and we recently noticed a new brewery had opened up near us - just on the north-west corner of Quincy and Buckley. We had to go and check it out, of course, but we were not at all expecting what we stumbled upon.
Pilothouse is not your ordinary brewery. Yes, they have a constant selection of their professionally crafted beers but what’s special about this place is that they also sell beers by amateur home brewers. Their concept was to build a brewery around the home brewing community since most professional brewers started life as home brewers. Pilothouse provides a venue for amateur brewers to ‘pilot’ their own recipes in a public forum based around a competitive format.
The love of beer and home brewing was the foundation of a friendship that has grown into a business partnership. Jean Verrier, his wife Michele and her brother Erik Wake joined forces to bring you this unique concept. With a lot of help from their family and friends they successfully opened in June 2018 and have been going strong since.
Kevin and I met Michele the night we went to try it out and we asked if we could come back and chat with her and Jean to find out more about their cool concept as well as a little about their journey. Michele was delighted so we happily drove back over there and had a nice catch up with Jean who happened to be in full flow creating some delicious craft beers.
Let’s back up a little to how they got here, I want you to understand just how much work went into this place and how much credit they give to their family and friends. Jean showed us all the pipe work that his Dad constructed in the brewhouse. He told us about all the work Michele’s Dad put in as well as all the priming and painting parties they held for their friends. He said that even today some of the amateur brewers help out. This is truly a local family owned business that has been built on a love for beer.
We wanted to find out more about the amateur brewing side and how they run that so Jean explained the format to us. The competition is broken into 3 rounds of brewing. Round 1 is the Pilot round. This is where, as an amateur, you can enter a recipe for brewing on one of their 50L Braumeister Plus pilot brewing systems made by Speidel in Germany. Round 2 is called the Pico Round and if you make it through to this round then you’re a semi finalist. How is your recipe judged? Well it’s judged on actual sales. So, basically, the general public decide which are the best, most popular beers. The final round, called the Nano Round is where the finalists compete, again based on sales of your beer. There are monetary and merchandise prizes awarded for each round, starting at $25 all the way up to $250. There are further, annual prizes also for the best brewer of the year which involves $1000 cash rebate on the purchase of equipment! How cool is that. If I were an amateur brewer I would jump at the chance to brew my own beer in professional, German, equipment not to mention have it on sale at a brewery! Click here for more details on the Competitive Brewing.
If you’re looking for just a casual evening out with family or friends to enjoy some delicious beer then Pilothouse is the place to go. With their large outdoor patio, ample seating inside, including bar stools right at the bar, there’s plenty of room to have a fun, beer filled night. You can even sponsor a table, chair or barstool. I thought this was a particularly cool way to get extra sponsorship. For any of you who love technology then be sure to check out their Digital Pour System that shows all the beers currently on tap, how much is left, and other fun details all shown in real time - live feed directly from the kegs! Jean told us that this system is connected directly to their point of sale system AND it even automatically sends out a tweet when a new beer is tapped!
They have a couple of rooms of supplies which they sell to their home brewing members. Each room was fully stocked with very high quality ingredients which you can take home or use on site for your special recipe.
Food wise they have a little popcorn machine for a lite snack but they are happy for you to bring in your own food from one of the may restaurants nearby. They are working on future food options but I personally like the idea of bringing in my own snacks to enjoy with their delicious beer.
There’s plenty of events as well. They have a calendar on their website and you can sign up to receive their newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything. They often have live music on the weekends and they’re about to add Trivia nights on Thursday - my favorite! Check out their and like their Facebook page as well as their Twitter feed.
This coming weekend is extra special because it’s their first competitive brewing release. On October 4th there will be 8 new beers to try. Starting at 4pm and going to 9pm head over to the Pilothouse to help decide who is their very first winner. There’s some great sounding beers…. Citra Pale Ale, Petite Saison, Summer Heat, Czech Out Czech Amber Lager, Spicy Peach IPA, Black Cherry IPA, Pineapple Mango IPA and even an Oktoberfest! If none of these sound good to you they usually have 20 of their own to try.
Sunday NFL is more your style? then head to Pilothouse every Sunday at 11am. They have enough screens to show 5 different games simultaneously.
Pilothouse has won us over and I’m sure it will you too. The whole family feel is infectious and you’ll often see Michele and Jean wandering around, so be sure to say hi! This place is totally unique because of its amateur brewing competitions year round and I will tell you, the beers are excellent! Put a night out on your calendar to go and check it out or if you’re an avid home brewer then call Jean now and get your entry in!